The Gertrude Threshold by Christopher Brooks is a moving and harrowing work of apocalyptic fiction that asks the question: what would you do if it was the last day on Earth? The Gertrude Threshold refers to a mathematical calculation that precisely determines the last day humans can survive after Global Warming. A family spanning several generations waits out the last day in a series of tubes underground, and the narrative switches between characters, giving this short novella an epic breadth and scope.
Like the best of apocalyptic fiction, The Gertrude Threshold deals with many serious themes within a highly readable and page-turning storyline. Religious characters are left wondering why they’ve been forsaken by God, whole science-minded characters wonder what humans could have done to avert this fate. Brooks deftly balances these discussions about science and theology without weighting down the narrative in too much exposition, yet gives the reader a lot to ponder. There are also elements of romance, making it a well-rounded story appealing to most any reader.
As Brooks is such an assured and poetic writer, this apocalyptic novella stands out from a very crowded field. The Gertrude Threshold a haunting story, poignant in its examination of both human weakness and strength, and will stay with the reader long after putting it down.